Here’s some of my annotations that I didn’t put up because I was too busy writing a script for my new Young Heroes in Love series that’ll be hitting the shelves in…uh, oh, I don’t know, let’s keep it positive, sometime over the next three years.


In no particular order

the teaser for the next issue

He doesn’t look much like a zombie, does he, this ressurected Batman? Which surprised me at first because I was convinced, and mildly concerned, that the next issue was going to centre around hackneyed zombie-movie cliches, but now I think the horror will run much deeper than that, because I don’t think there’s been any baiting and switching of cadavers. No my new pet fan-theory is that in this instance what we’ll actually be getting is an EVIL BATMAN, and that’s a reason to be cheerful. Yeah, yeah, owlman…. but Owlman’s only the anti-matter duplicate, not the genuine article. That it’s the real Batman can only have a positive effect on Morrison’s writing, because it’s a bloodchilling prospect isn’t it, that indestructable man, with all of his experience, expertise, intellect, training and resources, and he wants to hurt you?

Why has he turned to the dark side? One can only speculate. Perhaps this Batman is one of the Omega Effect’s latter iterations, a Batman gone sour and septic over time, as in David Uzemari’s excellent post, but not yet refined into Hurt, more savage and primal: ‘the Knight of the Beast’. Aaaah, the Beast, is that another clue?

But, yeah, sure, it’s more likely to be a clone.

Random thing

I’ve been thinking about Hurt. One of the things missing from the commentary surrounding him is the fact that he is a Doctor and the implications of same. ‘We will wound your soul forever and if it is strong it will survive the wound….’ and that’s Hurt’s function, isn’t it? Whether intentionally or not he’s the healer who wounds in order to heal. Inevitably his role in Batman’s development is to destroy Batman in order to raise him up by, literally, battling his inner demons and triumphing.

I love the way Morrison let’s you see all the moving parts of the spell…. and that its work has only just begun.

Old King Cole

If New York has subway piracy, so must London’s underground network. It may not be an original idea, but it’s still a resonant one, and serves King Coal’s thematic undertones well – coal’s natural habitat being under the ground. The burning black heart is powerfully totemic too, representative of a man so evil his soul has carbonated, a heart burning in Hell.

It’s a typical Morrisonian flourish, to take a quaintly corny sounding villain, in this case Old King Cole, and with a flick of the wrist transform him into something slightly nightmarish – shaven Shaggyman, BrRRrrrrrrR! – and he applies this talent deftly here: Cole’s connection to the Church of Crime and the instant and unpleasant depth it provides; the spooky mise-en-scene he generates, haunted mines, ghost miners and, grant’s favourite, secret subway lines and last but not least the resonant symbolism of his emblem and what its symbolism tells us about Cole’s self-image, his psyche, heck even his black spirituality. Shit we haven’t even met the guy but he’s a creepy bastard already, isn’t he?

The Miners

I’m surprised nobody mentioned Scooby Doo. These guys are pure Scooby, not supernatural at all but scaring off the locals with a combination of pre-existing folklore and a touch of luminous paint.

Rendle Colliery situation

On a ley line? Metaphysical fiery energy blazing from the rock. An altogether more interesting take on the idea of ‘coal’. Brilliant. Don’t know if the meaning I take from it was intended and neither do I care.

The Cover

One of my three fave B&R covers so far. I love the way the scary imagery is set off by the cartoony graphics inside. And the tension between it and what’s come before – see the cover to 3 – rocks too.

I can’t wait to see what colour scheme’ll be used for the cover to 8. That’s going to be a beauty too.

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